Riley & Emi


Riley Rangel


Emi Yamaguchi

July 15, 2023

Orange, CA
40 days40 d2 hours2 h16 minutes16 min1 second1 s

The Beginning

Saturday, 1/25/2020

Riley and Emi met in the modern way many people meet these days... on Hinge, the dating app. After messaging for a few days, Riley asked Emi out to dinner at Gabbi's Mexican Kitchen in Old Towne Orange which was close to her work. Emi was rushing to get ready after work and panicking since she was running late (are we surprised?), while Riley was also panicking because he didn't make reservations and the wait for the restaurant was over an hour! He quickly changed plans to meet across the street at Haven Craft Kitchen + Bar and played it totally cool when Emi stormed into the restaurant in her bright yellow cardigan. She quickly shared how much she hated dating apps (the irony!) and their conversation flowed so smoothly throughout dinner that they continued to the benches at the center of the circle to keep talking late into the night. And.. the rest is history :)

The Proposal

Saturday, 10/15/2022

Emi's birthday was on a Thursday this past year, so Riley casually asked to keep Sunday open because we had "plans." It sounded so suspicious and obvious, but Emi went along with it. Earlier in the week, Riley had mentioned that he was going golfing with his dad on Saturday (which was very normal), so Emi made plans to go on a hike when her friend, Rena, texted her to hang out (also very normal). On Saturday, Riley woke up early, got his golf clothes on, and left to “meet up with his dad.” With the colder, rainy weather, hiking didn't seem like a good idea, so Rena suggested we go down to the beach with her very handsome golden retriever, Ranger, for a "pack walk" so he could socialize with other dogs. Emi was along for the ride, so we went to Salt Creek Beach (her favorite!) and headed down to the path to look for the dog group. We started walking down the path and Emi noticed someone who looked very much like Rena's husband, Brenden even though he was “in Big Bear” for the day. Well, turns out it WAS Brenden, and there was another guy sitting next to him, Riley!!! Emi quickly realized what was happening and started yelling, "you all lied to me!" in her almost non-existent raspy voice (wrong weekend to lose your voice!) when she noticed Riley was no longer in his golf clothes and was changed into a new set of clothes. Riley said some very sweet words, got down on one knee, and Emi of course said, "YES!!" Thoughtful Riley brought flowers, plastic champagne glasses, and chilled sparking apple cider to cheers with the clouds and beach in the background (Emi's ideal scenario). Riley planned a special dinner with both sides of our families that evening to celebrate our exciting news! A special thank you to Rena and Brenden for helping Riley surprise Emi on a very memorable day! A few little notes to know.. Emi is not easy to surprise and Riley had to think of all the little details to make sure his plan would work. He not only convinced himself that he was going golfing and packed a different set of clothes in his car to change into, he also left his iPad at his parents house just in case Emi checked his location (she didn't, but good call!), and even swapped cars with his mom in case she saw his car in the parking lot at the beach (she’s observant and did look around at the cars!) In the end, there were no "plans" on Sunday.... he used that to throw Emi off while all the fun was happening on Saturday :)